Walt Disney World – Hollywood Studios – Star Wars Weekend, it just keeps getting bigger every year, and 2012 saw a quantum leap in changes. Updates this year (2012) include: Hyperspace Hoopla and the Padawan Mind Challenge moved to the “Event Stage”, in front of the Sorcerer Hat.
Event Merchandise relocated to “Darth’s Mall” located in the courtyard between Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror… (the Courtyard, otherwise known as a cast member parking lot).
The new Carbon Freeze Me Experience at the Carbon Freeze Chamber in ABC Sound Studio (Take that Sounds Dangerous) and new snacks including the Kids Power Pack (an R2D2 loaded with kid friendly snacks) and the “Darth Vader Cupcake”. I was able to experience the final weekend of Star Wars Weekend 2012 (June 8-10). There was so much to cover that it took two episodes of Sam’s Disney Diary.I did my best to capture the highlight of the event, while including the complete Celebrity Motorcade in Episode #14 and the full Hyper Space Hoopla in Episode #15.The main stage featured the Padawan Mind Challenge, where “Younglings” use knowledge of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to pass trivia trials and become official Padawan learners (Ages 11 and under)… Personally, I was looking for the Episode IV Trivia for ages 35 and up… maybe next year! (And for the record, Episode IV is Star Wars not Episode 4). The main stage also featured the always popular and daily event finale, “Hyper Space Hoopla”. The Hoopla has been a main stay of Star Wars Weekend and is updated annually with new music and dance routines. Hyperspace Hoopla is a great way to end the day with a whimsical look at the Star Wars universe. As always, Celebrity appearances and autographs are a big draw. Autographs this year included… Jame Arnold Taylor (The Voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars the Clone wars, Ashley Eckstein (Voice of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett in Episode II and III), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett in Episode V and VII), Michonne Bourriague (Bounty Hunter Aurra Sing in Episode I) and Nika Futterman (Voice of Asajj Ventress in The Clone Wars).
Just like prior years, if you want an autograph, you’re going to need a Fast Pass. Distribution is “outside” the main gate, to the right of the turnstiles and typically starts before park opening.If you want an autograph, you need to be at the park before opening. Everyone in your party looking for an autograph will need to be at the distribution location. No sending a single person to get passes for the group.
In addition to signing autographs, Ashley Eckstein and James Arnold Taylor hosted events at the Premiere Theater, (Behind Muppet Vision 3D, the old Hunchback Theater). Behind the Force was hosted by Ashley and featured a behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While James Arnold hosted “Stars of the Saga” a live interview with Jeremy Bulloch, Daniel Logan and Michonne Dorriague on their personal journeys in the Star Wars universe. James Arnold also hosted “Obi-Wan and Beyond” a fascinating journey into the world of voice acting. James has performed over 150 voices including “Fred Flintstone” . (Blog continues below video Episode #14)
Sams Disney Diary Episode #14 – Star Wars Weekend 2012 recap and Legends of the Force Motorcade
As always, Merchandise was everywhere, with Darth’s Mall being the showcase of everything Star Wars. From limited edition pins, Vinylmation, artwork, collectibles and unique family apparel, you could find just about anything.
New this year was the Carbon Freeze Me experience at the Carbon Freeze Chamber in ABC Sound Studio… Something I just had to do. I’m looking forward to my frozen likeness any day now.
Of course, character encounters were numerous, both the Rebel Alliance and the Empire were well represented. From Jedi Mickey to Darth Vader himself, there were lots of photo ops, some with lengthy lines. So plan accordingly. (Blog continues below video Episode #15)
Sams Disney Diary Episode #15 – Star Wars Weekend 2012 Carbon Full Hyperspace hoopla
The celebrity motorcade was again used to introduce all of the weekend’s celebrities and showcase the 501st Legion. If you haven’t heard of the 501st, they are just awesome. From their web site“…The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work…”
Or maybe an R2D2 full of churros and chocolate dipping sauce, or an R2D2 loaded with frozen lemonade… Nice touch. My personal favorite was the R2D2 with Yuengling. (For the record, I was sold an R2D2 and a glass of Yuengling. It was I that combined them, not the cast member.) No trouble here, try next year you should!!!
All that, and I never mentoned “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue”, new last year (2011) the all new Star Tours has new destinations and new adventures in 3D… and that’s at Hollywood studios year round, no need to wait for Star Wars Weekend…
Two video episodes WOW, that’s a lot of work!!… I hope you enjoy it… Follow me on Twitter @SamsDisneyDiary like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samsdisneydiary and be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed here at www.samsdisneydiary.com and drop me a line at SamsDisneyDiary@mail.com.